How I reply to threats from companies that want to steal my domains

domain name disputes

I got a message from a Spanish company trying to steal my domain. They used the contact form that I have on this domain name I own to send the message below.

I have nothing more on the domain name except this contact form. No content, no PPC, no ads, no “for sale” sign, no nothing.

I got this message threatening me to sell my 6-letter .com domain at a “reasonably price” to avoid a UDRP and a subsequent claim for damages.

The domain actually consists of 2 short English words BUT also means something else as a whole.

The company that wants to steal my domain is using a ******.tech for their website. I see they moved to this .tech domain from a .com domain, grupo******.com.

BTW they do not even own the domain name ******group.com that is used by a company in a different country.

Not that it makes a lot of difference at this point given that I don’t infringe any of their (future) trademarks but the domain name was bought by me 8 months before this company was even created in October 2008 in Spain.

Here is what their clueless CIO sent me:

Dear Sirs/Madams:

1.-I am writing to you as the CIO of ****** ——————— S.L.(****** in advance), a Spanish company founded in 2008 that offers information technology services.

For further information, we invite you to visit the website https://www.******.tech/en/

2.- ****** are the owner of, among others, the European Union trademark nº********** .

3.- This trademark registration logically confers on ****** an exclusive right therein and the capacity to prohibit the use by others of any mark, sign, domain name or trade name identical or similar to the ****** mark.

4. As your domain name includes the identical name ****** for which we have prior trademark rights and you do not seem to have legitimate rights or interests in said domain name, this case would appear to come clearly under the regulations protecting the owners of trademarks and other earlier rights.

5-Consequently, with a view to avoiding not only an UDRP proceedings before the WIPO for recovery of the domain name but also a possible subsequent claim for damages arising out of the registration and use, as the case may be, of that domain name, and for the costs of the recovery process, we would like to purchase your domain name for a reasonably price.

6.-We look forward to hearing from you in this connection within 15 days from the date of receipt of this communication. You may contact us at the e-mail address @******.tech or by
telephone on ***********

Sincerely,

And this was my reply:

Dear Sirs/Madams
1. I told you this domain ******.com is not for sale on November 18th 2018 when you asked to purchase this domain name using a gmail email address. “I like this domain, how much for buy this?”
I now see that the request was made by “**************” that is an employee of yours.

2. I told the domain name broker you hired “No thanks” when you made an offer to purchase this domain on January 8th 2019.

3. Now you send me this “anonymous” letter threatening my company that clearly demonstrates the ignorance of your CIO in terms of domain names and IP law. I guess my reply will be buried so that it doesn’t reach your higher executive team.

4. Your European Union trademark ***** is a figurative (!) mark for “Grupo******” from 2014. You have filed another trademark in 2018 for ****** that is not even registered yet because it was opposed. Both trademarks postdate our company’s domain name registration of ******.com.

5. This is a false statement: “This trademark registration logically confers on ****** an exclusive right therein”. Of course you don’t have exclusive rights to generic words like “** ****”. You MAY have exclusive rights in the class(es) that your future mark is registered in. Our use of the domain name does not infringe the rights of any trademarks.

6. See what ****** also means at Wikipedia. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/******:
“********************************************************************************************* Known to the Greeks as ******, ************”
BTW I am Greek.

7. You do NOT have prior rights. We do. We bought the domain name years before your trademark (that is not yet registered) and even BEFORE your company was even created in 18/10/2008.

8. Any UDRP action at the WIPO will be countered with a lawsuit for OUR damages. That is after you lose the UDRP and you are labeled as a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker forever.

9. As I told you twice before this domain is not for sale.

10. This domain is certainly not for sale to you after these threats.

11. I expect an apology from your CIO AND your CEO.

Good night!
Konstantinos

Keeping records:

I now have a complete record of this encounter including emails, whois records, linkedin screenshots, trademarks and their company’s incorporation records from October 2008. Just in case…

UPDATE: I actually got an apology from them today. (February 12th, 2019)

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

14 comments

  1. Fantastic Konstantinos

    Ita about time there should be a penalty paid when Reverse UDRp is done

  2. Funny 🙂
    I would have it much shorter, maybe would not even reply…

    Takeaway: don’t make legal threats (in writing) without seeking proper legal advice first.

  3. BRAVO, t

    This should be the standard use template for all these assholes that try to steal our domains.
    Proud of you. Keep us posted, This same think happened to Mike Mann and he doubled the BIN price and got it, and Nat Cohen from Telepathy also file a countersuit and won big damages.

  4. ok here it comes…. my response to these mofos… look b—h its also means your mothers muff in Bulgarian!

  5. I would simply tell them “molon lave” and have them waste money on a UDRP. Then, BAM!

  6. Hey Konstantinos, you did the right stuff by researching for their brand, registration, trademark dates etc.

    In your place, I’ll send a mailing to a spanish embassy to alert them about the other company.

    I receive from time to time emails that I recognyze are fake asking me to renew my domains registration fast before any pursuits and they add a fake link to visit and pay. Of course, I just mentioned it to my account as a spam and forget it.

    There are many thieves trying to steal people and companies all over the world.

    One country I never work with is Nigeria. There are so many bad people trying to steal people everywhere. They do their research and always have some tricks to get people into the trap.

    Be careful of all type of messages asking for information update, domain / hosting renewal, unpaid debt, debt recovery etc.

    Wish your affair will be safe!

  7. A shocking surprise I was contacted today by an Arabic end user owning a domain and has no for sale nor anything on a 5 letter domain he registered before the xxxxx Oil company that hired a UK legal empire office that went for UDRP because they registered a TM after a year from domain registration date

    Shockingly the 3 panelists decided into their favor and godaddy handed over the domain to the ccTLD version owner and he lost the domain because he didn’t know how to defend himself from such cases

    Of course the legal office told him to sell it first and he said it’s not for sale

    Cruel world for innocent ignorance users

  8. Seems to be the usual “modus operandi” of Spanish companies. We have a WIPO decision coming up for one of our names, Complainant is a Spanish SL
    Similar approach like in your case.

    • Fantastic response Konstantinos.

      I agree with Daniel in that this does seem to be the MO of a good number of companies in Spain, almost as though they have a misplaced sense of entitlement for the matching .com to their .whatever domain. Not sure why.

  9. Konstantinos,

    I am sorry that a company from the country where I have done this with you.
    I also suffer as many other of us attempts to usurpation domains (.com) never reach their goal, every month I receive email with trap of domain names (.com) that is not mine and also every month I receive email from my premium domains that to be about to expire everything is a lie.

    How many emails also receive congratulating me for having a domain (com) that only do two days to buy, all send to spam.

    Happy Day. Jose

  10. Good response, but it wouldn’t really matter if your page for the domain had it listed for sale, would it?

    Is the domain actually available for sale?

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      No, it wouldn’t matter if the domain was for sale.

      Everything is for sale for the right amount. Even this blog…

  11. Funny how they used the word, ‘recovery’
    for recovery of the domain name.

    Like they are getting something back they had once before, or belongs to them.
    Agreed that there should be a real penalty for RDNH.

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